Vision impaired children enjoy a dip

VISION Australia yesterday held a ‘Safety in the Water’ session for children who are blind or have low vision.

The session was part of Vision Australia’s quarterly school holiday program.

The aim of the program is to increase awareness within children and give them confidence in the water.

Nine children, aged between seven and 13, took part in the session with instructor Emily White, who taught them safety and water awareness skills, as well as having some fun with a few games.

Vision Australia occupational therapist Alex Lonsdale said the kids really enjoyed the water.

“For some of these kids it is their first time in the water, so it was great to have an instructor like Emily White come down from Melbourne and spend a bit of time with them,” she said.

“One of the things we hope to get out of the program is to eventually have an adults swimming program. Emily is working with YMCA staff to educate them on how to work with people who have low vision or are blind.”

Vision Australia team manager Ruth O’Connell said she hoped the session provided the children with self-belief and independence.

“It is a great way for them to connect with other children who are facing similar issues for peer support.’’

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